Topgrading: Infusing Honesty in the Hiring Process

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Dr. Brad Smart, President & CEO, TopgradingDr. Brad Smart, President & CEO
According to the 2019 Conference Board survey, hiring mistakes top the executives’ list of challenges and frustrations. Why? The title of a 2019 Harvard Business Review article sums it up quite succinctly: “Your Approach to Hiring is All Wrong!” There are thousands of screening methods, but Harvard research suggests that almost none of them screens bad candidates from high performers.

Topgrading has a tech-based solution—a candidate screening tool that improves the quality of hires. The Prescreen Snapshot asks candidates to provide invaluable information about their two most recent jobs. The tool:

• identifies the most honest candidates… before you talk with them
• takes only 7 minutes for candidates to complete
• provides accurate performance appraisals by their managers
• assures that you will verify what candidates told you because you will have reference calls with managers the candidates reported to, with NO phone tag

• offers 10 free trials

In the words of Chris Mursau, President at Topgrading, “The Prescreen Snapshot delivers the best hiring results, by far.” HR Tech Outlook approached Topgrading because their dozens of case studies are so impressive. The average improvement in hiring high performers is from 26 to 85 per cent. And case study CEOs say in their own words that the company is more successful because of Topgrading.

Mursau states, “We’re not aware of any hiring approach that produces a fraction of the improvement in Quality of Hire that Topgrading does.”
Culligan CEO Scott Clawson adds, “The Prescreen Snapshot is amazing, even showing why the candidate left jobs and how recent bosses appraise them, so we’ve been able to identify the best candidates with a lot fewer phone screen interviews. That saves time and money.”

HR Tech Outlook interviewed Topgrading founder and CEO, Brad Smart, and President, Chris Mursau, to learn what other HR tech innovations their clients use. Their platform, Topgrading Online Solutions (TOLS) makes executing the Topgrading hiring process much easier. TOLS includes the Prescreen Snapshot and custom interview guides that allow interviewers to understand a candidate’s skills, competencies, and motivations broadly and deeply. Mursau said, “TOLS delivers what our clients ask for; we’re constantly adding new functions based on their feedback.” To do this, Smart hired a COO from a software development company.“ Bruce Friedman,” Brad said, “keeps Topgrading’s hiring technology state-of-the-art.”

Mursau added, “Bruce did something unprecedented—in addition to building the TOLS architecture to easily integrate with all Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), he built an ATS, Topgrading HIRE, and it is the only ATS that comes with TOLS already integrated.”

Topgrading CEO Brad Smart cautions, “The Prescreen Snapshot is powerful and simple, but it just begins the Topgrading hiring methods. It covers only the most recent jobs, which are important. But the Topgrading Interview is the most important step of the hiring process, and we train managers to conduct it so well that they understand everything important about how the candidate will perform.”

Topgrading has been rolled out in many leading companies but also hundreds of small and mid-sized companies. Smart says, “The General Electric case study when Jack Welch was CEO proved that almost any manager could hire almost all high performers. Topgrading, oversaw the training of thousands of managers. The average Fortune 500 company only achieves 25 percent high performers hired. As GE shot up to almost 90 percent A Players hired, GE became the most valuable company in the world.”

What’s the future like for Topgrading? “Traction,” says Mursau. “Topgrading set a high standard for hiring success but we never did much sales or marketing to spread the word. Now we’re doing it—to assure companies have much better performance and to enable all managers to create A Teams, to turbo-boost their careers and enjoy better lives.”
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Lake Forest, IL

Dr. Brad Smart, President & CEO and Chris Mursau, President

Topgrading has refined the hiring and development methods through four decades of working with companies of all sizes. The Topgrading approach to hiring and promoting is not simply an evolution; it's a revolution. This proven method allows its clients to select only the very 'best of the best' when looking at candidates for today's jobs. Topgrading Online Solutions (TOLS) enables companies to automate several critical Topgrading methods